The Honourable Woman - mini series (2014)

This is one my favourite tv productions of late; a beautiful production overall, with splendid images, brilliant actors and a very, very interesting - albeit ultimately quite depressing - story. From the very first frame to the very last, it held my interest, by keeping a very consistent tone of quiet melancholy through out. And also by taking its time to tell this very complex tale. A few years ago, this would have been a film, told in just two hours. With eight hours, it could give the story the depth and complexity it deserve.

But what a sad, sad story this is. Nessa Stein’s stubborn desire to make a change, to - it seemed - remain innocent (or naïve) of the crass reality, in the end, came to nothing except an extremely high cost for her personally. Her brother applied realpolitik as a way forward, adjusting to all the suspicion and hostility and hate which all run so deep within the Israel-Palestina conflict. And that didn’t do him or Nessa any good. Everyone is keeping secrets in this world, and like Nessa says: Who can you trust? Seems the answer here is no one, no one at all.

So yes, not very uplifting. But still brilliant and utterly captivating.

I recently bought this amazingly darling children’s book called Magic Jungle (Magiska Djungeln). Such lovely drawings and a funny little story which made me laugh. And it was a great success with my two-year-old niece! 

Visit the author Hanna Olausson’s site and buy it if you know Swedish or German. I love this book!

Anonymous said: It's 3a.m late, hard to find sleep when there is so much to read (infos, interviews and videos) on your excellent blog about "Hawaii" and "Plan B" !!! I've watched them recently and now I became obsessed of both of them ! (and Manuel Vignau, haha !) I never thought about finding this much info !!! Thank you, thank you, thank YOU alot for your hard work !!! I really wish to see a sequel for both of the film... oh well ^^ (I would like to recommend you the movie "Pit Stop" if you already see it)

I know the feeling! I spent several months obsessing over these films. I’m glad you found this blog! :D

And yes, I’d love it if there were sequels. To both films! Then again, sequels are rarely good, unless they were planned from the get-go. And it’s always best to leave when you’re on top, isn’t it? 

I have seen Pit Stop, but found it a little disappointing, to be honest. It was OK, but it didn’t leave any lasting impression. 

Manhattan - tv series 2014

It took a few episodes, but after a while I found I was very fond of this series. It takes it time to tell its story and it’s filled with unusually complex characters who you care for, but who do behave irrationally and badly at times. It takes guts and talent to write such characters, and when it works, it’s my favourite kind. 

Since I am a big fan of Harry Lloyd (who here again proves he’s a lovely, lovely actor), I’ll take his Paul as an example.  He comes across as a nerdy, fairly arrogant guy who seemed quite unlikeable at first, but who’s grown into a very loveable character as the series has progressed. He’s sweet, yet also very petty at times. And Harry is awesome and brilliant. 

Also, this series is historically interesting. The driving force behind the operation and why most people there are willing to work so hard is to end the war. But I did read recently about how the bomb didn’t really end the war, that Japan would have capitulated anyway, because of Stalin. It’s an interesting thing to think about, particularly at those times when Charlie Isaacs has pondered, in several episodes, if creating the bomb is worth killing all those civilians. I do wish they’d dwell on this a bit more, it’s my only peeve.

But it’s a good show and I hope it’ll continue with a second season - if that’s the plan. It deserves a bigger audience! 

ETA: Yay! It’s been renewed. :D

'71 - by Yann Demange

A British soldier gets in the middle of the conflict in Belfast in 1971, gets separated from his squad and tries to survive the night in what most resembles something very close to hell. This film is incredibly tense and nerve-wracking but also very interesting to watch. The civil war of Belfast in those days meant - to an outsider - that both parties looked the same, sounded the same and you had no idea where you’re ‘safe’. It’s interesting both in a historical sense and in a very topical sense, since, you can find parallells with, for example, the civil war in Syria. And it’s all a nightmare of chaos, betrayal and riots and politics and constant,overwhelming fear.

I think this is a really terrific film, I particularly loved how respectful they were towards death. Even a person who’s shown no mercy, no humanity, is, when he’s dying, shown as being a human being. It’s a nice change. Also, I think the film showed what a mess you can make when you drop people (in this case soldiers) in the middle of conflict they don’t understand at all.

Les Revenants (2012) - or The Returned

I’ve finally watched this French series and found I love it a great deal. It takes place in a small Alp village, where one day a handful of people who have died, returns, setting off a number of events. It’s beautifully done, with wonderfully engaging characters, playing it out like it’s more a character drama, rather than science fiction/fantasy. In the end, it’s a perfect package of both, filled with a lot of intriguing mysteries. I had to watch all eight episodes more or less in one go, I found it so riveting.

I recommend watching this very, very highly! I watched it on Netflix. And soon, series 2 is premiering in France.

Ben Howard - End of the affair

Finally, new music from Mr Howard! And this is amazing. I can’t wait for the new album. And to see him live. :)

Lucas Ferraro singing! And quite well too. Brilliant.

From here.

A new radio interview with Marco Berger - where he talks about Plan B, Ausente and Hawaii. In Spanish - so I only understand a little. But for those of you who do understand, enjoy! :)

Anonymous said: Not a question, just a comment . I've found 'Plan B' by accident and got obssesed with it. It's a favorite of mine. Just recently got to watch Hawaii and I love it as well. In general I don't like to rematch anything. These two movies from Marco Berger (and an Israeli movie called Eyes Wide Open ) make my list. Thanks for your blog, it has so much information that feeds my obsession.

Oh, I completely agree! There really aren’t many movies which you can and NEED to watch over and over. Plan B was a film I had to rewatch almost immediately after I saw it the first time. And then I couldn’t stop!

I found these films by a happy accident too - maybe that makes for an even better experience, seeing as you don’t have any expectations and you just get happily surprised by everything. (For the record: I like Eyes Wide Open too - but not as much as Hawaii and Plan B.)

I’m glad you enjoy the blog! :)